Auditing or Assessing Performance or Performance Management Systems
Practice 1b. Audit performance management systems: Audit or assess existing performance management systems or practices.
The auditor determines whether existing systems or practices, or management controls over systems, are adequate to provide relevant and reliable performance information. The auditor may also determine if the information provided, or the way it is communicated, works well to help intended users of the information (e.g., public managers, elected officials, citizens) make decisions for accountability and achieving results. The auditor may also issue recommendations to improve performance management systems or practices.
In Alberta, since 2004, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has carried out “Managing for Results” audits of selected ministries, focusing on business planning, performance measurement, and human resource systems. The OAG has developed extensive audit criteria for each type of system, which audit staff use professional judgment in applying to each engagement. … Read more
In Austin, Texas, the City Auditor conducted a series of entity-wide studies of performance management of the entire City government, which have influenced the City Council to act and city management to make major performance management improvements. The most recent study used a “performance accountability model” as criteria for an entity-wide assessment. … Read more
In Florida, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) worked with the Auditor General to develop a list of best practices and indicators of how well each practice is performed on “best practice reviews” of school districts. These completed reviews continue to be followed up by both OPPAGA and the Auditor General and led to some school districts developing their own comprehensive performance measurement systems. … Read more
The Metro Auditor (of the Portland metro regional government) demonstrated the value of helping a new program get its performance measures and measurement practices in order early. … Read Example from 2004 Guide (PDF)
In Michigan, the Auditor General has used a “continuous quality improvement framework” as a model to help determine whether an agency has the measures and systems in place to adequately evaluate its own program effectiveness. … Read Example from 2004 Guide (PDF)
The City Auditor of Portland, Oregon studied the strengths and weaknesses of city agencies’ performance management systems, resulting in an audit report with a proposal for systemic improvement and a recommendation for a “managing for results” ordinance, which the City Council adopted. … Read more
The Texas State Auditor reviewed information technology (IT) systems that support performance measures in 10 state entities in 2002, and found that while automation enabled complex calculations of large amounts of data, it did not necessarily increase the reliability of reported results. Since then, all State Auditor performance measures audits have included a review of supporting IT systems. … Read more
In Virginia, the Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) reviews statewide performance management practices and recommends system improvements in annual reports to the General Assembly and Governor. The APA has been assessing Virginia’s reorganization of performance measures and multi-level system including a public reporting website with both societal quality of life indicators and agency performance measures. … Read more
The passage of Initiative 900 in Washington state includes a new element that requires an analysis of the entity’s performance data, performance measures and self-assessment systems. This review helps the auditor recommend ways to improve accountability, transparency and use of performance information. …Read more